My Dearest Christian:
Oh my gosh where do I begin? There are not enough pieces of paper in this printer or hours left in my life to be able to fully and properly express to you exactly how I am feeling at this moment. Christian, you made it! Against all odds and despite the dysfunction and chaos THAT YOU NEVER EVER ASKED FOR, you made it! There are literally a thousand things I want to say to you, but instead I’m going to just write you the lyrics to a song that make me thing of you the most these days that also happen to sum up my own feelings in a nutshell. Inhale this song, breathe it in, breathe it out, and know that I truly believe that these are the most important words a mother in this situation could possibly convey to her son after 18 years of living through a nightmare he never asked for the way that you have. Close the door on this chapter of your life forever baby boy. Fondly remember the many wonderful, beautiful and happy days in your life thus far – THOSE ARE THE THINGS YOU MAY KEEP! God please NEVER forget them. Hold on to them dearly in your heart and call on them if ever you find yourself lost, lonely or afraid. As for all the rest of it – the garbage, the trash, the chaos and the heartache? THAT’S WHAT YOU SAY GOODBYE TO! Keep only what you need of those memories so you always remember that HOW STRONG YOU CAN BE and just how much of a SURVIVOR you truly are! Let those things fuel your fire of determination in changing the direction of this family’s “toxic legacy” for once and finally all …
“FLY FROM THE INSIDE” …
“Is the weight of the world on my shoulders? Is the weight of the world on my shoulders? On my shoulders … All alone I pierce the chain. And all in all the sting remains. And dying eyes consume me now. The voice inside screams out loud, I am focused on what I am after. The key to the next open chapter. Cause I found a way to steal the sun from the sky. Long live that day that I decided to fly from the inside. Every day a new deception. Pick your scene and take direction. And all in all I search to connect. But I don’t wear a mask and I have no regrets. I am focused on what I am after. The key to the next open chapter. ‘Cause I found a way to steal the sun from the sky. Long live that day that I decided to fly from the inside. I can’t escape the pain. I can’t control the rage. Sometimes I think that I’m gonna go insane. I’m not against what’s right. I’m not for what’s wrong. I’m just making my way and I’m gone.” ~ Shinedown
Christian Peter, I love you so much – more than you could ever possibly know. I am so very proud of you and always will be, no matter what you do or do not manage to accomplish in this lifetime. You are my son and I want nothing but the best things in this life for you. And please always remember that many of the truly best things are not tangible, material “things”. True, unconditional love and acceptance, not only from others, but also for yourself, is something that cannot ever be bought. And peace of mind? While I can’t exactly say that it’s “free, because TRUST ME WHEN I SAY IT, “peace of mind” can, at times, “cost you everything” yet it’s also something that money can never buy! Over the course of time you will arrive at many crossroads wherein you will be daunted by the task of choosing one door or the other. Always follow your heart Christian. Always follow your heart! All the answers you will ever need are already inside there if you’ll simply trust and believe in yourself as much as I trust and believe in you!
And hear this too LOUD AND CLEAR: Another one of the most valuable “things” in life is yet again something no amount of money can buy: Self-forgiveness and the ability to fall, fail and make mistakes GRACEFULLY without the need to carry those mistakes forever on your shoulders like a cross. No, Christian! You are a human being and therefore you are imperfect. Only God is perfect and only God has the right to judge you! He is the one you will answer to when your road in this life meets it’s ends, and guess what? He already knew you’d be imperfect since long before you were born and has known every one of your mistakes before you even made them. He is more than abundantly willing to forgive you for your humanness before you even open your eyes each day if only you will ask Him AND HE’S ALREADY CARRIED YOUR CROSS! In this regard perhaps my biggest single prayer for you is that you surround yourself with a good, loving and firmly solid support system of people that will never cease to have faith in you, never give up on you, never stop believing in you, never stop being ON YOUR SIDE and unconditionally allow you to fail, fall and misstep GRACEFULLY, continually supporting and HELPING YOU MOVE ON from any of the “pasts” that you yourself may jade. People who are proud of you when you win BUT EVEN PROUDER WHEN THEY SEE YOU FALL ONLY TO SEE YOU GET BACK UP AGAIN AND TRY! I pray that you will surround yourself with people who will accept you just as you are, nothing more and nothing less, and that you never have to be faced with the unspeakably painful and daunting task of having to “say goodbye” and walk away from those people, especially ones that you have loved and trusted the most, because they refused to let you rise above yourself, move on and give you ALL the “Second Chances” you will ever need!
Inasmuch as it has taken me an entire lifetime of shame, pain, guilt and “a cross to carry” that VERY few would let me lay down to discover that the key to all of this is the practice of grace, forgiveness and unconditional love, PLEASE KNOW that these practices and principals are not only a blessing to receive BUT ALSO TO GIVE AS WELL. So then just as I pray that you will surround yourself with people who will extend these priceless graces to you, even more so do I pray that you will extend these things to others. Learn to give and you will be given. Love unconditionally and unconditional love will find you. Learn to FORGIVE and you will know forgiveness and most importantly HOW TO ACCEPT IT!
The world is your oyster now my handsome first-born Prince! Get out there and start gathering your pearls! In the meantime, just know your Mom loves you and is ALWAYS going to be here, good or bad, right or wrong, no matter what do or don’t manage to do. I AM ALWAYS ON YOUR SIDE until my last breath on this Earth and hopefully even beyond! You will NEVER be too old for me to call “my baby” and I will NEVER turn my back on you I promise! You’re my blood and bones and flesh of my flesh. YOU’RE ONE HALF OF THE BEATING OF MY HEART! I brought you in to this beautiful disaster of a world and for that reason I will ALWAYS stand behind you as you find your way through the maze. I give you to the world now and set you free my butterfly. No wait, my “Little Star”! Remember that one? “Never forget who you are Little Star! Shining brighter than all the stars in the sky! Never forget HOW TO DREAM Butterfly! Never forget where you come from, from LOVE”! In closing, while in the process of writing this to you I’ve now realized that these words are in a sense written not only “to you and for you”, but also “to me and for me” as well. It appears we are both standing at crossroads right now, aren’t we? Congratulations my graduate, I LOVE YOU! It’s time for you to FLY FROM THE INSIDE!